Posted by Dr Fro 8:27 PM
Kevin DuBrow, the Leader of Quiet Riot, Dies at 52
Kevin DuBrow, a gravelly voiced singer for Quiet Riot, a heavy-metal band that peaked in the 1980s, and who captivated decibel-tolerant fans with high-intensity musicality, quirky theatricality and a hint of menace, died on Sunday at his home in Las Vegas. He was 52. Samantha Charles, communications officer for the coroner’s office of Clark County , Nev. , said the cause of the death remains the subject of investigation.
Web sites and blogs quickly began buzzing with tributes and speculation about the cause of death. Frankie Banali, Quiet Riot’s current drummer, wrote, “I am already having to deal with untrue rumors and speculation,” and he asked for them to stop.
Mr. DuBrow’s music evolved from an early love of British rock acts that included Small Faces, Spooky Tooth, Rod Stewart and Humble Pie. He favored suspenders and hats, splashy antics and no-holds-barred banter. As Quiet Riot changed in membership and style, Mr. DuBrow was the persistent driving force in the group’s uninhibited aggressiveness.
Sometimes during concerts he dressed up in a strait jacket and metal face mask to appear as Quiet Riot’s mascot, which is on the covers of almost all the group’s albums.
Quiet Riot is credited with helping start the 1980s glam-metal scene and is probably best known for its take on Slade’s “Cum On Feel the Noize,” which appeared on “Metal Health” (1983) and eventually spent two weeks at No. 5 on Billboard’s list of hits. The album sold more than 4 million copies and is considered by many to be the first heavy-metal record to climb high in the pop charts.
“Although bands such as Motley Crue get the lion’s share of credit for popularizing pop metal in the 1980s, the first band of the genre to break through to a massive audience was Quiet Riot,” Billboard.com said yesterday.
Kevin Mark DuBrow was born on Oct. 29, 1955. He grew up first in Hollywood , Calif. , and then in suburban Van Nuys, in the San Fernando Valley .
Randy Rhoads, who assembled the group, auditioned Mr. DuBrow in his garage. Mr. Rhoads, who went on to establish a big reputation as the guitar player for Ozzy Osbourne, died in a traffic accident in 1982. The band’s original lineup included Mr. Rhoads, Mr. DuBrow, the bass player Kelly Garni and the drummer Drew Forsyth.
The group first released two albums in Japan . After Mr. Rhoads left to join Mr. Osbourne in 1979, the band’s name was changed to DuBrow. After Mr. Rhoads’s death, the group was reconstituted as Quiet Riot.
After its success with “Metal Health,” Quiet Riot’s next album, “Condition Critical” (1984), was a disappointment in sales. The band continued to go through changes, and in 2004 Mr. DuBrow left to make a solo album, “In for the Kill.” He later returned.
At the peak of the group’s popularity, in the 1980s, Mr. DuBrow said he was making as much as $500,000 a year and delighting in “completely gorgeous women who are absolutely crazy,” according to an interview with Rock Eyez, an online magazine specializing in heavy-metal music.
Information on survivors was unavailable, but Mr. DuBrow never married nor had children.
In 2006, Quiet Riot released an album called “Rehab.” In 2001, Mr. DuBrow told The Birmingham ( Ala. ) Weekly that he eschewed alcohol, liked doing housework and exercised regularly.
He said in a 2004 interview in Worcester Magazine: “I’ve read interviews where certain guys are trying to escape their past. I am my past.”